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Foreign Policy, Anarchy, and Agency

International Foundations Programme

Matthew Funaiole

on 3 April 2015

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Transcript of Foreign Policy, Anarchy, and Agency

Foreign Policy, Anarchy, and Agency

Dr. Matthew P. Funaiole

Lecture 1: Power, Authority, and States
Lecture 2: States and Sovereignty
Lecture 3: Foreign Policy, Anarchy, and Agency
Recap From Last Week
There are many different types of states, but all states have some form of legislative, executive, and judicial agency.
Beginning of lecture series on core International Relations concepts. These lectures build off of the historical foundations provided in the past three weeks.
Foreign Policy
Key items from last week:
Treaty of Westphalia
recognized sovereignty. Is a constitutive theory of statehood.
The Montevideo Convention
provides a declarative theory of statehood.
There are different forms of
. Internal v External. Positive v Negative.
Overview of Today
Key items that will be discussed:
Foreign Policy cont'd.
Foreign Policy Analysis
Images of Foreign Policy Analysis
Foreign Policy cont'd
"A system operating in the absence of any central government. Does not imply chaos, but in realist theory the absence of political authority." (Baylis p. 527)
Question: If there is no world government. What
the actions of states?
Foreign Policy cont'd
If foreign-policy making involves the pursuit of goals, how to leaders and state elites identify which goals to pursue?
Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) is a branch of political science that examines the processes and outcomes of foreign policy.
Authority and Legitimacy can be constituted in different manners.
Foreign Policy
Structure v Agency
Absolute v Relative Gains
Foreign policy
refers, broadly, to attempts by governments to influence or manage events outside the state's borders, usually, but not exclusively, through their relations with foreign governments.
Heywood, p 134
Foreign policy-making involves the establishment of goals and the selections of means to achieve them.
Why did Russia annex Crimea?
How do the US and Europe seek to counter Putin?
Compare with levels of analysis.
What determines the direction of foreign policy?
Type of Government?
Result of Power Relations?
Webber and Smith contest that there are three "images" of FPA.
Rational Actor
: Utilize a means-end analysis and views the state as a unitary actor.
: Hold the state is not a unitary actor and that foreign policy is the outcome of political bargaining.
: Suggests the perceptions of policy makers can distort or bias policy outcomes.
Some level of overlap. Depends on research. Think about objects and levels of analysis.
There are different approaches to studying foreign policy, but all foreign policy seeks to influence some aspect of international factors.
Think about the impact of
States are recognized as (somewhat) equal in terms of sovereignty. Recognition between states to respect each
Question: If states have sovereignty over their territory, then who/what controls international politics?

Defining terms is key!
Not this kind of anarchy!
Not this either
In a state of anarchy, the structure of a system can determine outcomes. For example: the structure of international system, and the structure of the bureaucracies within a state.
Types of structure:
Power relations: multipolar, bipolar, unipolar. Makeup of the international system. Think about our review of international history.
International organizations/law: The League of Nations and the UN are a type of structure. International Law ranges from rules about mundane issues like airspace to restrictions on warfare.
Policy makers must analyze the internal and external structures when determining threats or opportunities. Perception matters.
The capacity to exert power. Actions by individuals or groups that impact the existing structure in some manner.
Despite the constraints of power relations between Sparta and Persia and the international law that messengers are not to be harmed - King Leonidas still acted.
Examining the relationship between agency and structure is essential when analyzing foreign policy.
When considering internal structures, think about the type of state (democratic? authoritarian?) and the form of authority (legal-rational, traditional, charismatic).
Foreign Policy cont'd
As researchers of international relations, we have to make assumptions about how structure, agency, anarchy, and political elites interact.
Rational actor model assumes some sort of "universal" rationality. Psychological approaches assumes characteristics about individuals. Bureaucratic models make assumptions about systems where information is not necessarily accessible.
Consider the difference between intent v motivation. You can tell what someone was trying to accomplish, but not why they acted. ex. Why did the US invade Iraq?
Another way of conceptualizing this problem is through absolute vs relative gains. Starting off point for theory.
[Webber and Smith,
Foreign Policy in a Transformed World
(Taylor & Francis, 2002), 51-74.]
Question: Who has more agency in FP, Obama or Putin? Which state has more power? What about other states?
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